Originally Posted by sage
Sifting through teachings and working out what is right for me and what isn't is part of my process. I don't think I can dismiss all of Jesus possible words as being propaganda but neither can I leave my brain at the door and accept everything that is taught as part of Christianity.
This has been really important to me at various times in my process. So I hear what you are saying.
Curiously enough, the "becoming one flesh" is one of the bits of Scripture where absolute literal reading can have meaning: man and woman join together and create a chld - literally one flesh. It doesn't matter if the couple later separates; they are still tied to each other by custody complications, under normal circumstances.
This literal meaning is another layer, along with the metaphorical meaning of sexual union, as others have pointed out.
The verse about yoking together -- I won't take time to look it up. I remember it as "be ye not yoked together with an unbeliever." This relates to the purity codes and survival of the clan. Ancient peoples often lived on the brink of extinction. Marrying within an approved in-group kept to the purity codes, and more importantly, it kept the clan alive. Marrying outside the clan risked loss of children and loss of population, and perhaps eventual death of the clan. So, who a person married was about more than simple approval; it was about survival of the entire nation.
As Christianity first began to form with its very small numbers, this new religious group faced the same risks of dilution and extinction from marrying the "wrong" people.
What does it mean for Christians today? I"m guessing that militant atheists and militant fundamentalist Christians won't pull together well in the "same yoke." They can't find enough common language to be respectful of each other's beliefs. But as someone said, (serialmonogamist?), sometimes it's possible to open oneself up to the ideas of another person, even when they use foreign theistic/non-theistic language in order to learn something applicable to one's own spiritual process.
I suspect that people who find themselves in this "we can hear each other" space will be able to manage being "yoked together" and find ways to pull together.